Monday, December 29, 2008

What I Did for Xmas Vacation

When I went to my folks' place for a few days over the holidays, I elected not to take my Bumbleberry socks along, but to make a bit of progress on another project, instead. I had a few skeins of Kureyon lying around, so I took them with me, and made a few more blocks for my Lizard Ridge afghan. The colours are (for the most part) darker, earthier than the bright colourful ones I had in the first set of six. It will be interesting to see how all the colours come together when I have finally finished twenty-four. I have actually considered making an extra one or two, in case something doesn't fit in. But a part of me also wants to keep the random nature of the project, and just let the chips fall where they may. Ironically, when I blocked these four out and went to put them with the others, I found one more skein of Kureyon with them. Had I known, I could have taken it along and had one more block completed. Alas.

Also, slightly belatedly, I finished some personalized Christmas stockings, which I love love love. They are from a pattern in the book New Noel by Linda Lum DeBono, using fabric from the Merry & Bright line by Sandy Gervais. They were totally easy, and I love the pointy cuffs and the elflike toes. The only challenge was attaching the applique letters. The tension was all wonky when I tried to zig-zag stitch them with my machine, so I ended up blanket stitching them all on with embroidery thread. It took ages, and I nearly went blind, but it looks great in the finished product.

Now I'm going to put Flight of the Conchords in the DVD player and get back to the knitting!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Well I do have a couple of things in the works that I could show you, but instead, how about some things to make you marvel:

Amazing artwork with paper

Makes you wish you were a kid again

Never had anything I wanted to crochet until now...

I hope your holiday feast was abundant and that you are ready to say hello to 2009! See you soon...

Monday, December 22, 2008

One Down

And one to go.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Craftsmas

I've been quiet this week because I've been crafting away. I finished the top for my staff holiday party, the night before the actual party. It turned out really nice and I'm super happy with it. It was a bit low-cut (though not as low-cut as this photo makes it appear to be) and the slinky fabric I made it out of (some sort of polyester jacquard I bought years ago at Fabricland) was slippery enough that it fell open a little more than I wanted. If I had a nice camisole, it would have been no problem, but as it was (i.e. last minute, as I so often am) I just put a little pin in. There are darts in front and back for shaping (you can see them better on the pattern site) so it fits really well. Sorry no photo of me in it -- you'll just have to thow a party and I'll wear it for you. [Funny side note: when I did a google search to find the pattern site, I found another Rhonda who was recently working on this same pattern. Weird coincidence, eespecially since I've had the pattern & fabric sitting around for years and only just decided to throw it together.]

In other news, I'm plugging away on the knee-high socks. I started out using my favourite toe-up pattern, and then am using another pattern for the calf increases & decreases. Knitting math is fun. So far I haven't lost interest in them, partly because of the stripes (who doesn't love knitting stripes?) and partly because of the ever-changing stitch count as I shape the leg. The combination of colours reminds me of bumbleberry pie. Yum.

Lastly, did you see the Winter Knitty is up? There are a few cool things in there, one of which is this pattern for a hat. It's a pretty basic hat, admittedly, but the way she stitches the multicoloured yarn is the really interesting thing. Scroll down to check out the closeup. Of course, never being one to do things the easy way, I decided to use the stitch pattern to make a sweater instead. Also (never being one to do things the easy way) since I couldn't find any appropriate yarn, with a sparse enough second colour, I ordered some Cascade 220 and am going to just dye it myself to make it work. This could either be incredibly gorgeous and brilliant, or a huge soul-crushing disaster. Won't it be fun to see which?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Drops Hats: Trifecta

Ah, that little hat we've seen so much already. Here it is, one final time. This time, I actually followed the pattern and used the berry stitch for the body of the hat. The berry stitch (which used smaller needles than I used for the moss stitch on the first two hats) has a tighter tension and hand than the previous hats did. I also knitted it to the length specified (since I had enough yarn this time) and it has a different sort of slouch and sort of reminds me of the Smurfs.

I still like it.

In the meantime, I have several other things I'm working on... I'm sewing a top for my staff holiday party this weekend, making a baby gift, working on swatches for (what, another?) hat, and for some reason I decided it was a good time to cast on some knee-high socks. Not to mention the ongoing birthday and holiday shopping...

Need a gift for the girl who has everything? How about a knitted diaphragm?*

*Knitted diaphragm will not prevent pregnancy and has no practical use. It will cause snickering.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sparrow Gloves

I am pretty confident with most types of complicated knitting. Lace, no problem. Stranded knitting and fair isle, old news. When it comes to intarsia, however, I am lost. I've tried it a handful of times, and always end up with something puckered and warped, with messy edges and me swearing late into the night. I will never, for example, make a true argyle sweater.

So when it came to making a pair of gloves requested by my HLM, with sparrows on them, I just made the gloves all black, and did the picture in duplicate stitch, after the fact. Lazy, but effective. And with less swearing.

They ended up matching pretty well, despite my lack of notes. The thumbs are a bit funky, but other than that, the gloves look great. I actually surprised myself a bit when they were finished: I saw one sitting around, before the sparrow was stitched on, and for a second didn't realize it was one I'd made. It looked just like a plain black store-bought glove that would be sitting around here. A compliment, in a weird way.

Now I'm looking around to see what's next on the list... *rubs hands together*

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Basic Black

There comes a point in the knitting of a glove when the thing starts to look like a porcupine that got into a fight with a ball of yarn. Once you have the stitch holders tangling with the double-points and the yarn is squiggling around everything, you can get irritated to the point of wanting to toss the thing aside and go back to mittens. The secret is to try it on when you start to get annoyed. It feels like little wool hugs, all the way up and down your fingers. Then you smile and slide it off and keep knitting.

This pair is a special request by my HLM -- my own design, hence the scribbled notes on the back of an envelope. Not enough scribbled notes, mind you, to ensure that the second one will closely resemble the first.